新世纪英专本科生系列(修订版):听力教程(第三版)第1册 Unit 03 Mars Rover 2

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The American space agency launched its Mars Science Laboratory,

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also known as “Curiosity”, in November of 2011.

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The car-sized vehicle is supposed to land on Mars in August 2012.

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This computer model shows what scientists

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expect will happen when the spacecraft

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carrying “Curiosity” reaches the red planet.

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“Curiosity” is supposed to land at the foot

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of a mountain within a deep,

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150-kilometer-wide hole called Gale Crater.

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Deputy project scientist Ashwin Vasavada tells about “Curiosity”.

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“This is a Mars scientist’s dream machine.

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We’re so excited to have this rover going to Mars this year.

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It’s going to be virtual presence for over
200 scientists around the world to explore Mars

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and Gale Crater that we’ll talk about.

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This rover is not only the most technically

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capable rover ever sent to another planet,

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but it’s actually the most capable

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scientific explorer we’ve ever sent out.”

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“Curiosity” is much larger than earlier rovers.

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It has a plutonium-fueled nuclear reactor

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that will provide plenty of power

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for “Curiosity’s” many activities.

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The vehicle also has 17 cameras,

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and a laser that can examine the chemical make-up of rocks.

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“What really dominates the design of

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this rover is the fact that it has this ability

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to sample rocks and soils on Mars for the first time,

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and so it has a big six-foot robotic arm.

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And the rover is partly that big because it holds

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two very capable scientific laboratories inside the rover.”

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One instrument measures the minerals in rocks and soil.

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Another looks for chemicals

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and any organic material that might be present.

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The goal of the experiment is to learn if Mars 

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ever had environmental conditions

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that could have supported microorganisms.

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“This mission is really about
looking for those habitable environment,

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and not detecting life itself.”

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Vasavada says the mountain within Gale Crater will provide

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plenty of information about the development of Mars.

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That is because each layer of rock contains new clues.

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“It has some geologic evidence that water was around.

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We hope, in fact, to search for organics with this mission.

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That’s another requirement for life as we know it.”

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The nuclear reactor on “Curiosity” has enough power

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to operate on the surface of Mars for about two Earth years,

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which is the same as one Martian year.

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  • 时长:3.0分钟
  • 来源:外教社 2017-08-04